Egypt army arrests former Chief of Staff, Sami Anan

Former Egyptian army Chief of Staff Sami Anan has been arrested and is under investigation for a series of crimes and violations, including forgery and incitement against the military. The charges come just two days after Anan declared his bid for the presidency.

Anan was preparing to challenge current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The North African country’s presidential election will take place on March 26-28, with a run-off vote scheduled on April 24-26 if no candidate wins a majority vote in the first round. Mr. al-Sisi has been tipped to easily win the vote as his main challengers withdrew from the race to replace him.  Anan is the sole remaining challenger that is seen as a potential threat to the president’s re-election.

In a video announcing his bid, Anan said he was running for president at a time of worsening living conditions, wrong policies and the state’s failure to address major issues.

He called on the country’s civil and military institutions to maintain neutrality toward all candidates.

The Egyptian Armed Forces released on Tuesday a televised statement in which it asserted that Anan has not received the necessary permission from the army to run for the 2018 presidential elections.

The official Facebook page of Sami Anan’s presidential campaign said that the campaign activities will be suspended until further notice, following the release of the army’s statement.